Supplies of some of Belgium’s most popular beers are running dry as irate workers blockade AB InBev plants in Leuven and Liege.
The dispute, which has been brewing for a while, concerns company plans to axe 263 jobs from its Belgian workforce of 2,700.
Kris Croonenborghs represents the striking workers:
“We don’t plan a general walkout for the moment our action is drying up the company and cafe’s and supermarkets are running out of beer. We know we are hurting InBev. Leuven produces a lot of beer for export and distribution is proving difficult.”
InBev produces Stella Artois, Jupiler and Leffe and the country’s biggest supermarket chains are claiming stocks are almost out and they plan to buy from rival producers.
Karen Coeck represents InBev:
“We believe there is a range of solutions available to our employees. We are talking about 150 early retirements and relocation for about 70 workers, which would cover a large part of the proposed lay-offs.”
AB Inbev, the worlds largest brewer, says the job cuts are necessary because beer sales have fallen by as much as 20 per cent in Belgium alone since 2000.